Big Alviso Dig Could Solve Cold Case

Speculation is swirling in Alviso where police from San Jose, Palo Alto and Los Altos have been seen digging this week.  

On Thursday, big backhoes unearthed mounds of dirt in an empty lot just off Grand Boulevard and Wilson Way.  Crews wrapped up the digging portion of the investigation by noon.

It is being reported investigators were looking for the body of Dawn Sanchez who disappeared in 1991.

Sanchez was last seen at a Four Seasons motel in Los Altos.

Police have a suspect awaiting trial, but no body.

Bernardo Bass was arrested right after her disappearance but was released because the cops couldn't find enough evidence. 

Bass and Sanchez dated. 

He was re-arrested in 2007 and has been in jail waiting to be tried on murder charges ever since.  The trial is scheduled to begin in September.

Bass' lawyer Dennis Lempert says there isn't evidence that Sanchez is dead.  He says she has a history of prostitution and could be hiding.

"There is no evidence that this lady is dead," Lempert said.  

This is not the first digging operation in the cold case.  Two years ago police and the FBI searched a riverbed of Calabasas Creek in Santa Clara and reportedly found nothing.

Police alleged that Bass shot and killed Sanchez during an argument and later  disposed of her body.

Police on the scene are referring all questions to the Santa Clara County D.A. who isn't talking. 

The lawyer who is defending the only suspect in the case told KTVU he did not expect investigators would find anything.

Alviso is a small community at the north end of San Jose and the south end of the San Francisco Bay. It was originally settled as a shipping port, but suffered many setbacks over the years because of the Great Depression and several floods.

History meets the future at Alviso: The tech boom gave new life to the area and today, it is the home of giants such as Yahoo and TiVo.

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